Degree Name

Master of Arts

Department or Program

Political Science


Shulman, Stephen C


This study builds on the extensive literature regarding the use of economic sanctions in international relations. In particular, this study addressing the growing question regarding the effectiveness of economic sanctions and the relative efficacy of multilateral sanctions in comparison to unilateral sanctions. Similarly, it addresses the potential differential impact of multilateralism on cases of economic sanctions sponsored primarily by small states versus cases in which great powers are the primary sponsors of the sanctions in question. Using updated data from the Threat and Imposition of Economic Sanctions dataset, this study demonstrates the increased effectiveness of multilateral sanctions at various levels of associated costs to the target states. At every level of target costs, multilateral sanctions are shown to be more effective that unilateral sanctions. These results suggest an intangible, symbolic power component of economic sanctions, not simply an economic impact, which runs contrary to much of the existing literature on economic sanctions.